Best of September

October 2nd, 2012

Oh good grief, it’s October already and it just makes my head spin.  I can’t believe it’s here already.  I sat down with the kids yesterday to decide on their official Halloween costume and it has been decided that this year the 8 year old will be a wizard/witch and the 6 year old will be a ninja warrior and therefore my task is to find a way to adorn them from head to toe in very convincible attire.  Game on. 

I love the enthusiasm of kids when the calendar turns to October.  I asked my first grader what his favorite holiday is and he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said with sincerity, “Mom, it’s Halloween because you get to be a ninja and  you get free candy”.   Six year olds really know what’s important in life.

I started these roundup posts earlier this year, so let’s stick with tradition.  Looking back, I was a busy lady…here are the top ten posts from the gone-too-quickly month of September.

best of september 1

I hosted a fall mantel link party and over 400 of you linked up your fall displays too!  2.  The front porch got spruced up for September;   3.  stylish marbled paper boxes;  4.  it’s easy to throw a wine tasting party;  5. I thought of nine ways to design around a TV;  6.   Coronado charm and San Diego favorites.

best of september 2

7.  A navy and coral bedroom for my oldest; 8.  Yes you can paint a piano; 9.  new lantern fixtures in the kitchen; and 10.  we remodeled a bathroom for the Alma Project.


Thank you so much for your kind comments and compliments on our most recent kitchen remodel for the Alma Project, it means so much to us!  And speaking of giving back, I want to share something that’s happening over at Minwax, one of my favorite brands to work with.  Minwax emailed me to tell me they are launching a Do Good With Wood program and awarding cash prizes, so I was happy to share the good news. 

The first cash prize is a grant of $5,000 and a second cash prize is a grant of $2,000.  The award program is open to virtually anyone who has been involved in a wood finishing project and is doing good in their community.  It includes school woodshop classes, clubs, guilds, parent organizations, DIY groups, craft or hobby groups, and individuals too.  For more information visit the Minwax Do Good With Wood program, or download this document for all the details.  

Be sure to check it out and share the news with anyone you know who could benefit!

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Shelter Kitchen Remodel Complete!

October 1st, 2012

Well, we’ve done it again!  We’ve remodeled another kitchen in partnership with our local COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) and as part of our ongoing Alma Project.  Together with an amazing team and some generous donations, we’re proud to showcase this incredible new kitchen we remodeled for a local emergency shelter.

white kitchen sink and rug centsational girl


A little backstory first.  On the same day we wrapped up the first Alma Project kitchen, Warren, our partner at COTS, told us about this second home that was also part of the transitional housing program, a five bedroom home that was to be used as an emergency shelter for single parents and their children, with move in dates in October.  Each family shares a bedroom so this home will work for both COTS and with Child Protective Services to keep families intact by taking them off the streets and giving them temporary housing until they find a more permanent solution. 

The home was in really bad shape and saddened us that it was in no condition for children or families, so we decided to adopt a second house this year.  Matt and I love this project so much, it fills us with great pride to be helping people in need by remodeling these spaces in our community.  For this home makeover, we again turned our attention to rounding up all the resources we could.  You’ve seen the hall bathroom and over the summer we’ve been working on both the great room and kitchen.  We’re so excited the kitchen remodel is finally done! 

This was the kitchen the day we toured it back in July, and it was in really horrible shape.  (I swear that plunger is not a prop, it was actually sitting there.) This space was really depressing, it was dark and dingy, the cabinets were broken, the old laminate countertops were chipped, the flooring was moldy and peeling up in places, it was an absolute mess.  

kitchen before


So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work, and over the course of three months, we pooled resources and asked some generous donors to contribute and we’re so amazed by their generosity.  A combination of DIY efforts pulled this off, but first I’m so excited to acknowledge our sponsors.

Again Home Depot came to our rescue and donated new flooring, cabinets, a sink and faucet, and new backsplash tile.  Wilsonart countertops donated the new laminate countertops, and Shades of Light donated a new light fixture.  With some local donations of appliances and some funds raised from our Alma Project, we were able to completely transform this kitchen in three months.

Here it is, all complete! 

shelter kitchen remodel after


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